For someone who loves national parks, I’ve shamefully not visited many in Europe. I drove through one in Slovenia when a bus driver tried to avoid traffic, but I don’t think that really counts. I spent a day in Berchtesgaden shorty after Slovenia, but aside from those two instances I’ve not seen any European national parks since I visited Scotland last October.
When my friends and I decided to visit England we all agreed we HAD to see one, if not two national parks.
After a night in Highclere, we headed towards our next stop. The first area we visited was Lake District National Park, and we stayed here for two nights. Our Air B & B was adorable, and our host was a kind man that sounded Scottish. We stayed just outside of the park, because it was cheaper, and because the listing showed a sheep pasture in the backyard.
I don’t know what it is about sheep, but I adore them.
Our first day in the park I tried to find a hike for us to do, and we didn’t have a specific plan, but I knew I wanted to see one of the many fells. To maximize time we chose a location that was about an hour from our Air B & B, and while it wasn’t a large mountain, it was considered a “must see for first time visitors to the Lake District.”
We found the Loughrigg Fell Loop starting from the town of Grasmere, and spent a little over two hours walking the woods, and climbing hills to get an amazing view of Grasmere Lake down below. We sat at our self proclaimed summit for about 30 minutes before heading down to explore the town a bit.
After we made our way down, we walked the town a bit and I found my way to Lucia’s Coffee + Bakehouse. AKA where I had the best scone of the entire trip. I would go back to Grasmere just for this scone. And for the cinnamon roll I bought for the following morning to go with my cup of coffee. I never knew I was a scone person until I went to England.
This scone was the perfect mix of dense and soft, sweet and savory, warm and cold, it was just…perfect.
Grasmere is famous for their gingerbread and I bought one piece, but sadly I was not a fan. The shop is adorable, and the smells of sugar and ginger are intoxicating, but this was a hard piece of gingerbread. Almost like a chewy cracker. I like soft gingerbread, actual bread and not a cookie like bread. Does that make sense?
All was not lost on the gingerbread front, I had my cinnamon roll to look forward to and it was worth the wait. It’s been a while since I’ve had a sugary treat first thing in the morning. My blood sugar is extremely sensitive, and sugar paired with caffeine is no longer a good option for me, but thankfully I didn’t crash too hard with this.
Our Air B & B also had a creek out back, and while it was too cold to sit out there long term, it was nice to step outside with my coffee and hear the running water. Our second and last night at this Air B & B, we went to the only pub in the area called The Old Crown. It was a lovely place, with delicious food, and friendly staff.
Our trip to the Lake District was short and sweet, but I know I will be back someday. The weather was perfect for our trip, and the endless rolling hills had me daydreaming of a permanent lifestyle driving on the right side of the car. I could easily spend a week exploring this national park. I don’t want to work in a cafe again after I leave my current job, but I could see myself working at Lucia’s Coffee + Bakehouse.
Anything for the scones and cinnamon rolls.
We packed our bags and packed our car, and we headed towards Peak District National Park, our last leg of the trip and our second and drastically different national park in England. My idea of what it would be like to hike around England national parks ended up being a completely different reality, but it turned out to be a low key adventure I’ll never forget.
Q: Cinnamon roll or scone? Why am I always asking questions about food….